When a police officer pulls the trigger, it touches off a prescribed set of events, including an investigation. But that’s not the case with security guards.
Find out what’s working – and what’s not – in states’ efforts to regulate armed security guards.
If Arizona had required gun-ownership background checks for security guards, one guard might not have begun work at a Circle K convenience store where he later shot and paralyzed an unarmed teenager.
Reveal discovered armed guards with histories of civil rights violations, excessive force and corruption that did not trail them from their former lives as police, sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers.
Twelve states that reported that they are running guard applicants through an FBI records check actually are obtaining only a fingerprint-based criminal background check.
Private security companies have hired felons, people with mental health issues and former police officers accused of abuse. There are horror stories from nearly every state, and they all point to the same issue: an industry lacking oversight and accountability.
Only four states require armed-guard applicants to undergo a mental health evaluation, which is standard for law enforcement officers.
A bill that would require armed-guard applicants to undergo mental health evaluations is making its way through the California Senate.
Security guards on the big and small screens constantly flout their patrols and sleep on the job. But in reality, it’s one of the country’s most dangerous professions, with guards at a higher risk of violent injury on the job than police.
Cal Force Security has voluntarily surrendered its license. But in its wake, the company left a trail of violent encounters that led to few, if any, consequences, according to readily available public reports.